Need for Speed
DreamWorks Pictures’ “Need for Speed” marks an exciting return to the great car culture films of the 1960’s and 70’s, when the authenticity of the world brought a new level of intensity to the action on-screen. Tapping into what makes the American myth of the open road so appealing, the story chronicles a near-impossible cross-country journey for our heroes — one which begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption. Based on the most successful racing video game franchise ever with over 140 million copies sold, Need for Speed captures the freedom and excitement of the game in a real-world setting, while bringing to life the passion for the road that has made our love of cars so timeless.
The film centers around Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a blue-collar mechanic who races muscle-cars on the side in an unsanctioned street-racing circuit. Struggling to keep his family-owned garage afloat, he reluctantly partners with the wealthy and arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). But just as a major sale to car broker Julia Bonet (Imogen Poots) looks like it will save Tobey’s shop, a disastrous race allows Dino to frame Tobey for a crime he didn’t commit, sending Tobey to prison while Dino expands his business out west.
Two years later, Tobey is released and set on revenge — but he knows his only chance to take down his rival Dino is to defeat him in the high-stakes race known as De Leon—the Super Bowl of underground racing. However to get there in time, Tobey will have to run a high-octane, action-packed gauntlet that includes dodging pursuing cops coast-to-coast as well as contending with a dangerous bounty Dino has put out on his car. With the help of his loyal crew and the surprisingly resourceful Julia, Tobey defies odds at every turn and proves that even in the flashy world of exotic supercars, the underdog can still finish first.
In some ways this movie is like two different pictures. The first half is a reasonably believable story about a young man named Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) that is a mechanic with a well known racing father that just died. Tobey is doing what he can to keep the family garage in business when Dion Brewster (Dominic Cooper), a cocky former NASCAR driver makes him a proposition which could make him wealthy. Unfortunately for Tobey, he and his good friend Pete race Brewster and Brewster causes a major accident which results in a tragedy. Tobey is determined to make things even, even if it means running from the pursuing police. It is at this point that the movie becomes more “Smokey and the Bandit” than anything else, with endless car chases, crashes, and Tobey fleeing the police.
Ultimately the plot leads to the De Leon race, worth a lot of money and sure to put the winner on the front pages of major sports newspapers. Tobey has gained a new love interest in the process, a young English woman named Julia (Imogen Poots). However, with strong language featured in the content as well as rear male nudity, we are unable to award this movie our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.